This week, four former NHL players found themselves in Toronto for their induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In their ranks stood one of the best centers to ever grace the game of hockey: Peter Forsberg. With over 800 points in the NHL, two Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals, success followed the Swedish forward for much of his illustrious career.
From the “Stamp Goal” scored with his daring shootout move in the 1994 Lillehammer games (a move still called the “Forsberg”) to his dominant performance in 2002 NHL playoffs after missing the regular season due to a splenectomy, Monday’s ceremony honoring Forsberg won’t be the last time many marvel at his career.
What likely won’t be talked about when reflecting on the forward’s 13-year span in the NHL, however, is Forsberg’s 22-game stint in a Nashville Predators uniform. Joining a Preds team that spent much of the 2006-07 season in first place before falling in the first round of the playoffs to the San Jose Sharks, the statistics from the Swede weren’t the lift the franchise needed to notch their inaugural series win. Hampered by a foot injury that season, Forsberg notched 19 points during his short time in Nashville; a total that only now seems small when compared to the incredible numbers normally put up by No. 21.
But what “Foppa” couldn’t do on the ice for Nashville that spring, he more than made up for with the significance of what his move meant to Music City. A future-hall-of-famer skating through the Predators head in February 2007 marked another step in the growth of an organization not even 10 years old. For what remains one of the NHL’s newest franchises, having superstars like Forsberg and Paul Kariya on a single team - in Nashville of all places - paved the way for the Preds growth out of their infant years.
So congratulations to Peter Forsberg, the first-ever, former Predators player to reach the Hall of Fame. He’s only made getting there easier for current and future members of the franchise.
Watch Forsberg’s induction speech containing his thoughts on his time in Nashville below: